Patriots Gave Joe Cardona Record-Setting Long Snapper Contract

The Patriots rewarded the longtime specialist


March 17

The New England Patriots paid good money to lock up their longtime long snapper.

The new contract Joe Cardona agreed to Thursday is a four-year, $6.3 million deal, according to multiple reports. It makes Cardona the NFL’s highest-paid long snapper and includes a $1 million signing bonus, the richest ever for a player at his position, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

The max value of Cardona’s deal is $6.7 million, with the ability to earn $100,000 per year through incentives if he plays in 14 games and the Patriots make the playoffs.

Cardona is the Patriots’ second-longest-tenured player behind another special team stalwart, Matthew Slater, who delayed retirement to re-sign for a 16th season. The 2015 fifth-round draft pick played 140 consecutive games (regular season and postseason) to start his career before a foot injury landed him on injured reserve last December.

The Patriots also have his late-season replacement, Tucker Addington, under contract for 2023, but Cardona’s big payday makes him a roster lock for the foreseeable future.

There are questions at the Patriots’ other two specialist spots, however. New England doesn’t have a punter on its roster after cutting Jake Bailey last week, and kicker Nick Folk is 38 years old and likely will need to win another roster battle in training camp.

New England has brought in younger kickers to challenge Folk in each of the last three summers, and the steady veteran beat out all three.

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Thumbnail photo via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images
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